Given the current occupant of the Oval Office, and the investigations as being carried on by special counsel and others, Richard Nixon’s name is resurrected in the call for impeachment. This is unfair to Richard Nixon who is one of the most over-maligned and underrated presidents.
Both men apparently obstructed justice by interfering in investigations about their unlawful or improper conduct. Nixon fired Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor, and caused a political firestorm. It eventually ended in his resignation before he could be impeached. Trump is mounting a PR campaign to discredit special prosecutor Muller. There has been talk of firing Muller, but as of yet, his investigation continues.
That is where the similarity and comparison between these two men end abruptly.
Nixon’s cover-up was to protect others initially.
Donald Trump is all about Trump. His constant lies, always and about everything, are to protect him. The Special Counsel’s investigation and what appears to be a number of other investigations into all aspects of his and his family’s lives and business cover almost all aspects of his life. As you know
Richard Nixon spent the bulk of his adult life serving the United States of America. First in the military and then in politics. He was not rich, although he could have been. Except when in private practice briefly, he made and lived on his government salary. Richard Nixon was a smart politician and statesman. He understood the government process, having served in, the House, the Senate, the Vice Presidency, and the Presidency. Without for a moment passing judgment on his conduct that led to him being driven from office, he was a patriotic man dedicated to public service. He was the last of only three Republican progressive presidents. The others being Lincoln and TR. He created the EPA. The very Environmental Protection Agency that Trump wants to destroy and dismantle along with most of the other departments of government.
There are numerous examples of him choosing country over self. He was a flawed character, not a personality particularly suited to politics. I won’t list Nixon’s accomplishments here, but suffice it to say there are many. He was an international statesman and a visionary. He made the world a safer place to live. Domestically, he was actively interested in promoting civil rights and healthcare .
Trump, regardless of what he may accomplish is not now and never will be half the man and half the president that was Richard Nixon. He is a pathological liar, corrupt, self-absorbed and self-interested, egocentric, incompetent, unqualified in every aspect, misogynist sexual predator.
Other than being involved in attempting to interfere with an investigation that involved him personally, Trump’s personality disorders make Richard Nixon look like Mother Teresa. It is a grave insult to Richard Nixon to mention his name in the same breath as Donald Trump.
Tattoos, and Statues have always been permanent reminders of temporary feelings. A statue however is slightly easier to remove. As a symbol, statues have themselves become a much larger issue. What do we do about our troubling history? How do we judge yesterday’s conduct by today’s standards? What is the purpose and effect of what we include or exclude in the telling of the story of humanity?
A professor of mine, the great historian Gabriel Kolko, taught me that history was perception. Winston Churchill famously said that he was sure that history would treat him kindly because he planned to write it himself. As a general rule, history is written by the winners.
In the United States the issue of statues and symbols, especially relating to the American Civil War, have become a divisive issue. It took until the 21st century for the Confederate flag to be removed from state capitals. Disputes have erupted over the removal of statues of southern Civil War leaders and Generals. These statues and symbols represent the defense of slavery. This was an evil so great that it is understandable that it would be offensive.
There are those who argue that to remove these statues is to deny history. There is no shortage of written materials, records and other reminders of history. There are museums where these statues can join the other mementos of the best and worst humankind.
Statues of the losers and tyrants are symbolically torn down to mark their fall. There are no public statues of Adolf Hitler in Germany, Stalin in Russia, Saddam, Gaddafi, Idi Amin, and a legion of other tyrants and losers in the progress of humanity.
Truth like water find its own level. Statues rise and fall with the march of history and the values and sensitivities of the people who raise and live with them.
The news is filled with stories about Donald Trump’s sexual escapades with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to name but two. He is being judged and berated for cheating on his wife. I am no fan of Donald Trump. I recognize there may be some issues as to breach of campaign finance laws in the payments to women. No president has ever suffered lasting political damage just for adultery. Cover-up is a different story.
When looking at the 20th-century, the list of adulterous presidents is not short. There was Bill Clinton. Gerry Ford favoured young women while skiing out west. Lyndon Johnson, was notorious for pride in his genitalia. He held meetings with senior officials while he was on the toilet or otherwise and often was exposed. Lyndon Johnson was sexually active outside of his marriage. There was John Kennedy. From all accounts he was an unapologetic sexual predator of olympic appetites. He was preceded by FDR, like the others on this list, he had several mistresses both before and during their time in the White House. Before him, Warren Harding was involved with mistresses in the White House closets. Other than Clinton, and now Trump, the rest carried on with little or no public scrutiny or outcry.
In the 19th century Thomas Jefferson was sexually active with his slaves. Forty Nine year-old President Grover Cleveland married his 21-year-old ward, daughter of his deceased partner, whose estate he administered.
None of this activity seems to have prevented most of these men from accomplishing great things and being good leaders. It may have even helped. Those who did not succeed were not hindered by their extramarital activity.
People want bold and dynamic leaders. In order to succeed in politics you generally need to be an A-type personality. They are more often than not, best suited to deal with domestic and foreign enemies in dangerous and high-stakes games. That type of personality often brings with it some less than appealing personality traits manifesting in thought and action.
Had the behaviour of those leaders been public and judged based on standards of today’s political correctness and in the light of the internet, these men would be seen as the social and sexual transgressors that they were. I personally do not judge them, but then I can understand how a vast majority want their leaders to be role models.
There were many great presidents who were married and stayed faithful to their wives. Likewise there were failures as presidents who were faithful to their marriages. It may make a difference to those whose expectations of their presidents include high moral standards. There is no evidence that commitment to their marriages affected their success or failure anymore than it did the sexually aggressive and predatory presidents.
The problem with Trump is the lies and cover-up. He also is seen by many as sleazy given the attitude he expressed on the Billy Bush tape. He is crass and creepy. Trump’s public bragging of his sexual exploits and prowess cannot be compared to any other president. There are very few ways, if any, by which Trump could be compared to any other president.
When it comes to Presidential sex, whether Democrats, Republicans, Federalist, or Whigs, there is no evidence that it affects one’s ability to do the job.
Pelosi and Schumer, and yes both of the Clintons have served the American people for several decades. America needs a change.
On November 9, 2016, the American people experienced one of the greatest failures in the history of democracy. GOP and Democratic voters alike turned their backs on the elite political ruling class of both parties. This was born of the frustration of watching their political system descend into a paralyzed and uncivil sideshow. It was that anger and that rejection that brought Donald Trump to power.
The danger in Donald Trump, is that he cares only about Donald Trump. The Russians were ahead long before they appeared to have a President of the United States that they could blackmail. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the West threw up their hands in victory and fell asleep. Putin divided Russia up amongst his friends. He then used Russian money to buy his way in to the upper echelons of the political and economic elite around the world. The Citizens United decision by the Republican Supreme Court, was the first nail in the coffin of American democracy. It has provided an unlimited source of untraceable money to buy American politicians.
Trump was just a continuation of the deterioration of America is a world leader. One of the worst things he has done is to appoint Cabinet Secretaries who all hold views in direct contradiction to the purpose and missions of their departments. They’re spending their time dismantling the strength and functionality of these departments. They are attacking and destroying the social and political gains that made America a beacon of freedom and liberty and hope and the leader of the free world.
The last chance for American democracy is for the Democrats to retake both houses of Congress. That will not happen with the already rejected, Pelosi and Schumer. They must step aside for the good of the party and the good of America. There are plenty of fresh young voices and leadership in the Democratic Party. They must come up with bold, practical and meaningful proposals and turn them into action.
If Pelosi and Schumer lead the Democrats into the midterms I fear they will again be rejected for the same reasons they failed before. This time the stakes are high. The survival of American democracy.
If Spiro Agnew had remained as vice president, Richard Nixon would never have faced impeachment. No Democrat would trade Richard Nixon for the far right intellectual neanderthal Agnew. Agnew was forced to resign and Jerry Ford replaced him. That sealed Nixon’s fate.
The Democrats face a similar dilemma with Donald Trump’s VP, Mike Pence. For all his problems, Trump seems to be ineffective. He makes a lot of noise. But nothing seems to get done. As an example Secretary as is Mattis put off Donald’s ban of transgender’s in the military.
Pence on the other hand, is a dyed in the wool, Bible thumping, blind and dumb conservative. He would be far more effective in working with the GOP leadership and more dangerous to the Democrats. They would have to get rid of Trump and Pence which can most likely only happen if Dems take the Congress in the midterms.
The GOP leadership would love Pence, but they worry about the backlash from the Trump supporters. Those people who prove Lincoln’s: “you can fool some of the people all of the time”.
It remains to be seen. I think there is no one more dangerous to Trump than Trump. He can’t protect himself from himself. His financial and political worlds will unravel with the Russian revelations and Trump’s inability to get out of his own way. Too many people want him gone in America and around the world. He’s damaging the United States. But worse for him he’s forever damaging his brand as the world gets to see more and more of the real Donald Trump.